What Is Alcholism?
Alcoholism can be defined as, A disease that includes the craving for alcohol and continued drinking despite
repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job, or getting into trouble with the law.
Alcoholism is often referred to as alcohol dependence syndrome and the four main characteristics of it are
craving, loss of control, physical dependence and tolerance.
A craving for alcohol is a compulsion or a very strong need to consume alcohol while loss of control refers to
the repetitive inability to cease drinking once it has started.
A person has become physically dependent on alcohol when they experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety,
nausea, shakiness and sweating after a long bout of drinking, which is often called a binge.
Often the symptoms that accompany physical dependency can be relieved by consuming another form of a sedating
drug or else by consuming more alcohol.
Finally the more an individual drinks, the greater their tolerance becomes to alcohol. To put it another way, a
person needs to drink increasingly larger quantities of alcohol in order to experience the same high feeling.
Alcoholism is not about the kind of alcoholic beverages a person enjoys drinking, nor is it about how long a
period of time a person has been drinking or how much alcohol is consumed in any one timeframe. Alcoholism is about
an individuals uncontrollable need to consume alcohol.
Alcoholism is considered to be a chronic and progressive disease that has symptoms that can bring about negative
consequences in a persons life such as health concerns, relationship problems and/or work related problems.
Alcoholism, like so many other types of chronic diseases, has a relatively predictable course that it follows
and it has a variety of symptoms that are easy to pick out if a person looks closely enough.
Alcoholism is believed to be affected by both genetic as well as environmental factors and men are more likely
to abuse alcohol than are women.
There are an estimated 14 million individual presently residing in the United States who either abuse alcohol on
a regular basis or are deemed alcoholics. This works out to be every one in three adults.
Did You Know
The Addictive Side Of Alcoholism
Yes, it is a disease, but Alcoholism is also an addiction.
It is the undeniable need for a drink that makes if an addiction.
It is the inability to stop at just one drink, and the level of difficulty in
quitting, requiring professional assistance and the need for a support group to be able to kick the
drinking habit; that makes Alcoholism an addiction.
Alcohol is after all a drug. As an addiction the condition is a progressive one. It
changes in intensity growing and taking over like weeds in a garden.
Addiction robs the drinker of the ability to see beyond the haze of alcohol to the
reality of situations. T
hey may see an exaggerated reality that is fuzzy and unreal. Addiction makes
choices for you that you would not otherwise make.
Addiction often takes the romance out of relationships.
The highest rates of alcohol dependency appear to be in young adults ranging from the age of 18 to 29 years of
age while the lowest rates are for those adults who are 65 years of age and older.
In regards to the many ethnic groups residing in the United States, the rates vary although no current research
points to alcoholism being any higher in one group in relation to others.
There are several million other adults in the United States who may not be alcoholics per se but they still
engage in risky types of drinking patterns on a more or less regular basis that could put them in the high-risk
category for alcohol dependency.
If a family member is worrying you with their behavor when they are drinking, make
arrangements so that you have a safe place to go when their drinking gets out of hand.
An estimated 53 percent of both males and females have admitted to having one or more family members or friends
who have a problem with alcohol.
The number one organization that helps those who are alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) who describes
themselves best in these words,
We are a worldwide fellowship of men and women who help each other to stay sober.